Maps.me, the perfect GPS app for cyclists

RobinConvenient58 Comments

Image

Maps.me is a free app and card available iOS and Android. Its main advantage is to be used completely offline.

Maps.me uses the map database project OpenStreetMap, which offers free and all Editable Map, how to Wikipedia.

These are the functions that will be detailed later

  1. Download maps
  2. Consultation of POI (points of interest)
  3. Search Mode
  4. Creating a POI
  5. Travel car / bike
  6. Import track .KML

Download maps

why use maps.me instead of Google maps or other map service ?

Simply because all functions can be used offline ! Indispensable during a bike trip where we did not constantly internet connection. So essential that it is the application nº1 used by travelers worldwide !

Image

When opening the application, we can already see the world overview.

Image

But as soon as enough zooms into a region (in the example here, Switzerland on Lake Geneva), a pop-up window asks if you want to download the region. Yes, not need unnecessary card data gigas ! One can choose the parts of the world that will serve us.

Image

Another way to download maps and click the last tab at the bottom right of the screen and directly download by clicking on the cards. Once this step is performed, need internet !

Consultation of points of interest

Traveling by bicycle, life is simple but there are still questions that we can not escape. Where to buy food ? Where to eat ? Or sleep ?

L’application maps.me allows to easily answer these questions !

Image

When navigating on the map and that enough zooms, many icons appear on the map : hotels, hostels, restaurants, shops and so on !

The full list of points of interest available right here.

So perfect when you are in an unfamiliar city or you want to plan where to sleep that evening !

Image

When you click on a hotel, one can know its price range and rating booking.com. (The notes are downloaded with the cards.)

Image

When you click on a restaurant, one can know if there is WiFi available and Cuisine.

Yes, WiFi is perhaps as important as the Cuisine !

search mode

Image

One can simply search by clicking on the first icon in the lower left. a city name can be searched as well as the name of a point of interest.

Results are sorted by the distance where you are in relation to these points of interest.

Image

Even better, we can choose a category and list all the nearest points in this category. Ideal for looking for a restaurant or a hotel.

Creating a point

Image

To do this, it is very simple, just click anywhere on the map (an already existing point or not) by holding his finger until a blue circle appears.

Ensuite, just click on Save at the bottom left of the screen.

Image

For a list of bookmarks, you must click on the icon in the bookmarks bar.

Image

You can also change the bookmark.

To do this, you must click on the added point on the map

Image

Then drag the bottom screen to the top and then click on IT ISditer to favorites.

Image

You can change the color of the point, his name and even add a description if you like.

Route

To create a route, one proceeds in the same way as to add a point. We wanted to click at the place keeping your finger pressed until the blue circle appears. Ensuite, the option is chosen : Since if your starting point or Destination if this is your end point.

If you directly press Destination, Your starting point will be automatically assigned to your current location.

Once selected point, we must also choose the mode of transport used. In order : car, on foot, by public transport, by bike, in taxi.

We will choose only car or bike in our use. When you make a choice, the route takes a few moments to calculate (longer or shorter depending on your phone).

Image
Image

Wait until the calculation is done. We can see the progress in a circle on the transportation icon.

Image

By car, the shortest route is obtained, but on larger roads, not necessarily suitable for cycling.

Image

With the bike, often results in a longer and twisty but normally via the most suitable roads.

In our example, however,, you soon realize the limits of the use of the bicycle option. The example used is a calculation in Cambodia. There is a paved road that is ideal for bicycles but is listed as a main road.

The algorithm used so try to avoid this major axis (which is actually a small road). The result is a quirky way that borrows obscure dirt roads.

So be careful to use the bike function with reason as the case !

This function almost flawlessly in the more developed regions where there are often several highways and secondary roads.

Image

You can always try to "force" the route to take by adding intermediate points on the desired route.

Image

To do this, once again, Clicking on the screen at the desired location while holding down the finger then the option is selected Add a stop.

The route is then recalculated to the added intermediate point.

On the other hand, the main interest of the bike function is the occurrence of a difference of curve at the bottom of the screen.

You can see the total time (useless for my taste) monitoring the distance and finally the difference between the maximum and minimum altitude of the planned path. therefore impossible to know the actual altitude but by efficiently using the points of departure and arrival, one can know exactly how many meters you will have to climb before reaching the cervix.

Image

Right here, entre Siem Reap a Battambang, we see that the path is 235 km with 20m between the minimum and maximum altitude point, So ... in summary it's flat !

Import track

A great option, and that is very useful if we want to choose to follow an existing path, it can import log files .kml !

An example to import a record that comes from the app Cyclemeter (which is the app of the most complete bike counter on the market)

Image

In the app Cyclemeter, I choose .KML export option which is to date the only readable by extension maps.me for traces.

Image

on iOS, you can then import into maps.me.

A more universal method for importing the file is to send an email to yourself with .KML attached file and open it from the phone with maps.me

Image

We can then copy the file .kml in bookmarks maps.me.

If all goes well, a pop-up window will tell you that there was a bookmark loading.

Image

One can choose whether to display track by selecting the track in the bookmark list and Deselect the "Visible".

In the example, Bookmarks "my places" are not visible on the map, practice when we begin to accumulate full marks in all directions.

Image

Yippee, What a nice trail to follow or to contemplate !

Problems and Limitations

Although the title seems to give an opinion without compromise on the issue, maps.me still has way to widely improve on some points.

  • elevation Representation - For the time being, it's simple, but also too basic. Impossible to know for example the altitude of departure and arrival of the calculated route. It would also be interesting to have the min and max altitude of the calculated route. Why not even a full screen mode with the altitude that can zoom.
  • Calculating the bicycle route - Before criticizing, hat for computational speed and length of the routes which can be calculated. From version to version, we clearly see an improvement. On the other hand, it is always the same problem ... failing to set the calculation, we often find ourselves on detours on paths obscure land instead of taking a more surely main road but quite possible bike. This is the whole problem of a bike route ... Some people swear by the little lost paths and some are almost ready to take the motorway ... options would put everyone agrees !
  • Detailed maps - In some parts of the world, such as in Vietnam, the roads are not sufficiently detailed. One day, for example, we even crossed a city "ghost" tens of thousands of people who simply did not exist on the application ! This is also because maps.me sits on free cards OpenStreetMap, that works on the same principle as Wikipedia. As a user, if a road or landmark lack, you are welcome to complete the world map yourself.

Author

Robin

Passionate about cycling and adventure, Nature lovers and Technology.

58 Comments on “Maps.me, the perfect GPS app for cyclists”

  1. Hello Robin,
    Thank you for your clear explanations. I go for a long bike trip Brussels to Cambodia through germany
    Poland – Russia – Mongolia – China – Vietnam – Laos – Thailand – Cambodia. Do you think the Maos.me application can use it without problems or would it be better to have a Garmin ?
    Thank you for your answer
    cordially
    Michel

  2. Hello,
    Thank you for you interest so quickly to my problem.
    IOS tablet. Message after refocusing:
    Continue to detect your current location?
    The current location is unknown
    You may be in a building where a tunnel
    Stop. Carry on
    Best regards
    Claude lemercier

    1. Hello,
      Some iPad users complain about bugs with GPS. Some tips to solve the problem :
      – iOS update to the latest version
      – reboot by holding down the "home" and the button to turn the device off
      – test other apps like Google Maps or Apple map and see if the problem exists, if that is the case, the GPS module to your device may be faulty.
      cordially,
      Robin

      1. Hello and thank you I was a little long to test after performing these manipulation.
        It works sometimes.
        I take it I have to change devices.
        On any device that works best.
        Again thank you Robin
        Best regards
        Claude

  3. Hello, Maps .me geolocates do us more. I have complete information. accommodation etc..
    We used abroad is a very very practical applications, I checked the settings I can not find the solution, Thank you for your help. Claude cordially

  4. Hello I often go cycling on the old railways greenways, if I create a bicycle trip point A start and finish point B application you will it make me look on the greenway, I want to be on the road with cars. Thank you very much for your answer

    1. Hello,

      Normally yes, if the greenway is listed, the route will favor this route calculation algorithm reserved for cyclists but I doubt that the app perfectly follow the track if there is a similar alternative (= Small road) shortest distance between points A and B. In all cases, it may be helpful to add intermediate points (as explained in the article above) to force the route on the Greenway.

      Robin

  5. Hello
    Our walks in Asia and other Tandem were facilitated by Maps .me. Except now we have more Geotagging
    Despite checking the settings I can not find the solution. I still complete information on accommodation and other which is already well. With geolocation that would be great
    Otherwise really essential app that has us walk in the countryside to distant countries.
    Best regards
    Claude

  6. Hello Robin,
    Very nice all these explanations..
    I'm leaving soon for a very long bike trip is 18.000 km solo. I will go through Germany – Poland – Russia – Mongolia – China – Vietnam – Laos – Thailand – Cambodia.
    I wonder if the MAPS.ME application could do the job for the entire route or would it be better to have a GPS GARMIN ..?
    A big thank you for your help.
    sportily,
    Michel

    1. Hello Michel,
      Beautiful program this trip ! We used maps.me on our trip. so obviously, the cards are pretty poor in some segments (lack some roads, or whole cities in some regions !) but it was also found beautiful places through the app (restaurants, hotels, activities, etc.). It's a gold mine !

      The routing has become quite efficient although be careful in some countries where the app offers impassable roads, do not follow the app eyes closed 😉

      For route planning, I am personally spent another app, MapOut, from which to draw oneself its routes. The representation of altitude is very precise and cards are beautiful. On the other hand, the app requires a little more time to adapt. Personally trip, it was the “happiness” night in the tent : plan the next day's route by choosing myself the best alternatives, always with an eye on the distance and elevation. Short, it's an amazing app if you like to draw your own path 😉

      Robin

  7. Hello,

    Thank you for this very detailed user tutorial.
    This app is great for her free hand and free (good start !) while providing a wealth of rendering and functions (Routing handy pref. in pedestrian or bike fashion).

    Where I wanted to bounce back, this is why the “free and” but also parts of the world not visible or very little mapped.

    Just because this app uses the free world map and participatory OpenStreetMap, it is important to point out this project and its contributors Maps.me otherwise would not exist in the same way (as OsmAnd… )
    And especially : You are free to map your home or favorite locations ! it is open to all and need to arm and brainpower 😉

    Like technology, the outdoor sports and share information ?! Join the adventure map “EIGHT” 🙂

    1. Simon Hello and thank you for your comment,
      I added a reference to the OpenStreetMap project intro and conclusion of this article.

      Robin

  8. Hello, I have a small question. Does anyone know how do you import KMZ maps on me ? thank you very much ! I can not !

  9. Hello Do you know if MPAS allows me to record his mark, to retain and consult later my real journey ?

    Thank you

  10. Hello, thank you for the article. I imported my footsteps KML successfully. It's great ! By cons I have courses that overlap, can we change a color plots ? They are all red now. If I want to put one in green for example that differs easily.
    Thank you

  11. Hello Robin, I try to plan a route and the application tells me all the time : navigation is only available from your current location. Why ?

    1. Hello Christine,
      Indeed, it is not possible to activate the navigation if the chosen starting point is your position. If this is the case, have you well maps.me authorized to use your current location ?
      Hoping to help you,
      Robin

  12. Hello
    Robin j used for many years MAPS ME ,No, but I still can not to change the color of the route downloaded ,j arrives bookmarks but not the layouts. Because I work on the same card but with so many tracks as they are red I m are not found
    Thank you

  13. Hello,
    Always bps to search with a city name a name and a ru n ° even with very old and current addresses in France . A minimum No. of the street is not recognized which poses pbs in long avenues or streets.
    In which order ? be there , to separate ? how are managing ST or ST ? the – etc….
    If there is a link to help with examples that would be great

  14. Hello

    How did it to create a route ?
    thank you very much ..
    I am indeed looking for a guide like GPS rather than a path.
    Mélissa.

    1. To create a route you must click on the map and choose “route to”.Ensuite, you must click on “start” to start the turn by turn GPS guidance.
      Robin

  15. Thanks for your quick answer, actually I tested my place of departure until Paris (which will be part of my trip) and he indicated the way forward… Thank you very much!

    Do you plan other trips in the future?

    I wanted to do the course in Trike (your videos really inspired me on this type of bike ! but it will be for another time

  16. hi Robin, excellent presentation of the application…

    I intend to Belgium in May -Portugal, I do not understand how the application works… should I ask maps.me has shorter distances so he could guide me?

    The application crashes every time I try my starting place -Lisbon… I have a Galaxy Note 8 so I do not think the problem comes from the mobile…

    Yours

    1. hi Mathieu,

      Even if the application is constantly evolving, the routes are still some issues… When we checked out in April 2017, you could hardly calculate a route over 30km. Either that crashed, either it took too long.

      Now that's a lot better to calculate up 100-200km but I doubt that the application is enough in the stomach to make the route of Belgium-Portugal once.
      If it does not crash when calculating the shortest routes, you know the problem.

      Another point to check : Have you downloaded well all the cards that are on your route ?

      I wish you a great future trip, Belgium- Portugal, it promises !

      Robin

  17. Hello,
    I just downloaded Maps.me. I used it but I find that the sound guide is too low. How to increase the volume ?
    Thank you

    1. Hello,
      The volume of maps.me guide is the same as the overall volume of your device. Simply increasing the volume of your phone.
      Salutations,
      Robin

  18. Hello. Let me return to your previous comments on a search location via the compass. My tests are not conclusive yet I registered the coordinates in degrees, minutes and second to N then W. Should we intervals, spaces or other modes of registrations ?
    Thank you for your valuable answers

  19. Hi Robin if I use the application to work in a city is what he can tell me how far I have traveled and the time it took me???

    1. Hey pierre,
      Malehureusement, it is not possible to use it for maps.me. Maps.me just can plan, create a course and follow the signs with “turn-by-turn” but no gps tracker functions (the type strava,runkeeper ou cyclemeter).

  20. If I understand, I must have an email address .me so you can send me a KML route since the card download menu gives me no other choice…

    1. Hello Sylvie,
      Do you have an iPhone or Android device ?
      You do not need an address to send your .me KML route. If eg, you have a .kml file on your computer that you want to import into maps.me on your phone, one way is to auto-send an email with the file as an attachment .kml. Once the email received on the iPhone, you have to click and hold your finger on the attachment .kml. A dialog box opens with several option with which “copy to maps.me”.

      Here is a link that can be useful : https://support.maps.me/hc/fr/articles/207895029-Comment-importer-des-signets-

  21. Hello, I would like to hear how the travel directive in bluethooth self, and I do not have more volume on the application is this normal?

    1. You did not specify the OS your phone ? Android or iOS. on iOS, can enable or disable the voice once you have launched navigation, by clicking on the icon at the bottom right (see images below). As for bluetooth, I do not have the answer, not using the function. I found this link on the website maps.me : https://support.maps.me/hc/en-us/articles/208459215

      The support indicates that they have not tested the bluetooth car and finally advise cut bluetooth… (Article dated ago 4 years).

      IMG_4932 IMG_4933

  22. Hello I downloaded on my samsung Mapsme A3 2017 a month ago , and I do not have the window indicating the altitude when I run a route , and comparing over other users Mapsme , it gives me a shorter travel time ( cohérant time appearing on flat ground , not with gradients encountered on the GR20 ) . Were it done with a function to activate , different versions of Mapsme ? Thank you for your answers Raphael

    1. Hello,
      Do you have selected the route by bike or on foot ? The altitude function only works when selecting these modes. If so and if you downloaded the app a month ago, this must be the latest version or nearly so I do not see what can be a problem…

      Another possible thing, I remember that a few months, before the latest updates, you could not see the difference in height on too long haul. Perhaps this your case ? – Furthermore, following phones, the computation time can be very long !

      Regarding the travel time, I also had some strange results but I'm never lingered me because I do not use this information to bike. I do not know what algorithm the application uses and if it takes into consideration the difference in level of the course.

  23. Hello, could you tell me what is the traffic light at the top left of the smartphone or iphone. thanks in advance

    1. Hello Hervé,
      The traffic light lets you enable or disable real-time information on traffic density. This function uses the data but in a limited way (1 MB/h).

  24. Health, thank you for this article useful. Once an existing track downloaded bookmark, do you know how to activate GPS guidance to follow this track ?
    Thanks see you soon,
    Christophe

    1. hi Christopher,
      It is unfortunately not possible to follow a trail with a guide with maps.me. On the other hand, there is indeed a guidance mode step-by-step I have not shown here. Just create a route and click start.
      See you soon,
      Robin

Leave a Reply